Credit Union Professionals Participate in Life Simulation to Better Serve Low Income Members
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Minnesota Credit Union Network - ST. PAUL, Minn. (November 3, 2016) - Yesterday, 80 credit union professionals took part in a Life Simulation designed to help sensitize credit union employees, volunteers, and management to the financial needs of low-wage working families.
During the three-hour activity, participants were grouped into “families” struggling to make ends meet in a simulated month of four fifteen minute weeks. Each participant played a unique role within the family. These simulated families visited a variety of booths, including a school, employer, pawn shop and payday lender. Through the exercise, they encountered events & financial crises faced by many low-income Americans, including eviction, loss of utilities, lack of reliable transportation, crime, and the moment-to-moment stress of making ends meet. At the conclusion of the exercise participants shared their experiences and emotions in a powerful debriefing session.
“As a volunteer, I watched the room go from calm to chaotic in an hour. Seeing people try to make the best use of their time and resources gave me a closer look at the daily decisions many our members must make,” said City & County Credit Union Marketing Specialist Laura Jorris. “I walked away with a deeper commitment to educating our staff, members and community about personal finance and the resources available to make managing money easier.”
“It is important to Minnesota’s credit unions that their staff, volunteers, and leadership receive ongoing training to best serve their members,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “The ability to empathize with members struggling through financial difficulty encourages credit union professionals to offer products, services, and solutions to help improve those members lives.”
The event was hosted by the Minnesota Credit Union Network and supported by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. The event was run by volunteers of the Minnesota Credit Union Network young professionals group, The Crew.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network is the statewide trade association that works to ensure the success, growth and vitality of Minnesota credit unions. With nearly $20 billion in assets, Minnesota credit unions are local, trusted financial cooperatives that serve more than 1.6 million members at almost 400 branch locations around the state. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions give back to the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.mncun.org.